An article in this week's NY Observer is brutally honest about a number of development issues as well as entertaining:
Mr. Bollinger’s Battle
- “Ratner and the city got together with one big, national not-for-profit and a set of local sycophants and put something together which doesn’t seem to have satisfied too many people, except for those who are benefiting directly from it,” Mr. Reyes-Montblanc, the chairman of Community Board 9, said.
- The point was to avoid the conflicts of interest that were apparent when Bronx City Council members negotiated a “community-benefits program” with the Yankees that called for, among other things, a $32 million charitable trust fund that would be indirectly controlled by the same elected officials who negotiated the deal.
- “The problem with having elected officials on the local development corporation is that one of the constituents they represent is Columbia University,” Mr. DeMott said. “There is immense potential here, but there is also immense potential to get screwed.”
- The university softens up the local development-corporation members with enough well-meaning promises that a majority of them would overlook the eminent-domain issue. The City Council takes its cue from the local development corporation and approves the land-use changes that Columbia needs to turn an industrial slum into gleaming scientific laboratories.
IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN that way.
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